"Men in Black: International" Movie Review
I had my reservations already about Men in Black 4 way back when it was first announced that neither Will Smith nor Tommy Lee Jones would return to their roles as Agents J and K respectively. But, when Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson signed on as the new leads, my hopes rose quite a bit. Considering their chemistry in Thor: Ragnarok, it seemed like they were already the perfect team-up. That's the problem with perfection. It can't be repeated and keep the same level of amazement. The next attempt will always be slightly lesser than the first round. What chemistry Chris and Tessa had in Ragnarok still existed in MIB International, however, writers Matt Holloway and Art Marcum didn't quite hit the mark that we all hoped they would.
The film follows Molly, a young woman who witnessed a Men in Black incident as a young girl. She spent the next 20 years of her life trying to track them down. When she finally does, Agent O recruits Molly as the newest member of the secret agency. Her first assignment: report to the London headquarters and work with Agent H as protective detail for the alien Vungus. After things go sideways, H and M discover the possibility of a mole inside MIB.
The phrase "at least you tried" comes to mind. Men in Black: International had the action and the aliens, but it also lost a lot of the heart and humor that made the series so popular. Will Smith's natural charisma and form of humor could not be beaten by Hemsworth's charm and general 'dumb-blonde' approach. The thing that made the first film work so well was that no one could imagine the outgoing Smith matched with the tough-as-nails Jones. Their strained partnership is what made the film work. That's where International fails. Hemsworth and Thompson are already a great match. There's no mystery or rarity with them.
The story was good and, after taking a while to get its footing, it flowed pretty well. The humor felt forced most of the time with only a handful of actual laughs, which was probably the most disappointing factor of all.
In conclusion, the film really rode the fence between good and not-so-good, never hitting the great mark or falling to the bad mark. It's perfectly average, perhaps slightly higher, but I don't foresee a part 5 coming out anytime soon. I give the film a 2.5 out of 4.
© 2019 Nathan Jasper